6 posts categorized "Franchise"

September 29, 2021

NO TIME TO DIE

No Time To Die, Except…

By Cole Smithey

007With “No Time To Die’s” plaintive theme song, Billie Eilish’s lush voice announces a young, female-led era for the longest running and most successful movie franchise in the history of Cinema. New rules for flirting should be forthcoming in upcoming installments to the Bond series considering Lashana Lynch’s bold incarnation here as the new 007, agent Nomi. Get back bitches. Baby got back.

James Bond No Time To Die review: Resurrection of the century | Evening  Standard

James Bond’s signature British wit, disarming charm, and deadly tactics play like an old-school symphony of ancient Cinema origins. Thrilling chase sequences and redundant gun battles lock you into the famous big-screen James Bond formula upon which the movies are built. Watching “No Time To Die” in any format other than an IMAX screen is sacrilege. Audiences in Leonberg, Germany can enjoy it on the recently-built largest IMAX in the world, measuring in at 70’ x 125.’ I had the pleasure of seeing “No Time To Die” on America’s largest IMAX screen, located at AMC Lincoln Center. Wow. What a delight.

Deal to sell James Bond film No Time to Die to streaming services for Rs  4400 crore was 'overtly' explored: report | Hollywood - Hindustan Times

At nearly three hours long, “No Time To Die” is a happy cinematic excursion, even a vacation, considering the Covid economics that kept “No Time To Die” on the shelf for well over a year. “No Time To Die” is a well-deserved welcome back to the Cinema for global audiences who have been in some form of lockdown since the inception of Covid19.

The Official James Bond 007 Website | No Time To Die

Sure the film could easily lose 20 minutes and no one would notice, but if you’re a Bond fan, more is more. Still, co-editors Elliot Graham and Tom Cross drop the ball on several many occasions when a sharp scalpel would have helped. Lacking tempo changes, especially during dialogue-heavy scenes, point to flaws in Cary Joji Fukunaga’s direction.

No Time to Die (2021)

Long awaited mano y mano sequences between Daniel Craig’s ever-tightly-wound spy and his unhinged advisories, disappoint. Even Christoph Waltz, playing returning madman Ernst Blofeld (see this film’s predecessor “Spectre” - 2015), fails to hit ostensible high notes during a prison visit with Bond that draws heavily on “Silence of the Lambs” for its claustrophobic atmosphere. Blame for this film’s meandering plot also goes to a by-committee script, doctored by none other than the ubiquitous Phoebe Waller-Bridge (see “Fleabag”).

Official James Bond Podcast Will Explore The Making of No Time to Die

The MacGuffin this time around involves a biowarfare plan gone awry. “Heracles” (or “Hercules” if you’re so inclined – thanks Rob Brydon) is the name given by Ralph Fiennes’s character M to a diabolical DNA weapon that has the potential to wipe out specific races, or even the Earth’s entire population if so aimed. Back-stabbing scientist Obruchev (David Dencik) is a textbook Bond villain that allows Dencik to steal scenes like pennies from heaven. The DNA infused MacGuffin proves a hydra-headed thing capable of filling comic book plot holes like so much spackling on a much-dented wall.

No Time To Die - The Send-Off For Daniel Craig As Bond We All Wanted  [Review] - That Hashtag Show

Daniel Craig allows his composed character’s guarded heartstrings to vibrate more than a little at Léa Seydoux’s feminine gaze and kiss (as Dr. Madeleine Swann), even if Cary Fukunaga fails to capture on film the intended simmering passion that Seydoux and Craig work too hard at convincing us is real. Oh but for human body adoration, or in this case a lack thereof.

Stunning images of Jamaica in James Bond flick 'No Time To Die' - Stabroek  News

“No Time To Die” squanders more than it preserves; Jeffrey Wright’s vibrant, returning Felix Leiter character could have juiced up the movie more than the screenwriters allow. For his role as Bond’s boss M, Ralph Fiennes gives the laziest portrayal of his estimable career. M is a guy who just wants to crawl into a bottle rather than take any responsibility for the global crisis he has instigated. Still, I suppose the character is true to form for most of the corridors of power all over the world.

Rami Malek Says James Bond Fans Will Be 'Shocked' by New Movie | PEOPLE.com

Most disappointing is Rami Malek as Bond villain du jour, Safin. Malek never lets the audience get a glimpse of his character’s insanity, so we never feel the fear or anxiety that Safin’s twisted mind should inspire.

No Time to Die': Film Review – The Hollywood Reporter

There are welcome exceptions. Ana de Armas (“Knives Out”) is a revelation as newly-minted Double 0, agent Paloma, whose outlandishly stylish scenes in Cuba spark with nerve, if not eye-popping, excitement. Indeed, the Cuban nightclub scene serves as the centerpiece of the movie that puts James Bond in a shocking spotlight. Sexy is as sexy does.

NO TIME TO DIE | Trailer Tomorrow - YouTube

“No Time To Die” may not be perfect, or as good as Daniel Craig’s other James Bond films. It nonetheless serves its purpose as a sly social cinematic barometer. Right or wrong, things change. Lashana Lynch has our attention. It’s already time.   

Rated PG-13. 243 mins.

3 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

February 26, 2019

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH

World_is_not_enoughPierce Brosnan (Golden Eye and Tomorrow Never Dies) can do no wrong. While leading actors like Harrison Ford and Nicholas Cage recede into mere shadows of their former selves, Pierce Brosnan gleams with all the requisite savoir-faire and charisma that the longest-running film franchise in cinema history demands. 

Brosnan's third installment as Her Majesty's top secret agent 007 lives up to the lofty expectations set down by Sean Connery's initial James Bond presence with an indispensable steely nerve and Bond's signature unquenchable libido. British director Michael Apted, best known for his fantastic 7 Up documentary film series and Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), makes a surprisingly impressive debut in the super-action genre of the Broccoli family dynasty.

World

By definition a James Bond film must provide various exotic locations (in this case Bilbao, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Instanbul), include mind-bending chase scenes through exceptional places, utilize slick gadgetry, have seduction scenes with audaciously beautiful women, and include an explosive ending that catapults Bond and his fille du jour into sequestered romantic bliss. The cinematic experience goes beyond guilty audience pleasure, because there's something in it for everyone. The feeling is akin to visiting characters who have become old friends in situations that continually add up to a life-affirming thrill ride. There is a deeply felt satisfaction in hearing that priceless James Bond theme music and digging into the latest spectacular pre-credit action sequence.

World-Is-Not-Enough

In The World Is Not Enough, James Bond is trying to track down an international terrorist, Renard (Robert Carlyle), who threatens to kill off lovely oil heiress Elektra King (Sophie Marceau). Elektra has already suffered as a former hostage of Renard but managed to escape before his hostage demands were met. Elektra is planning to open her own oil pipeline into Turkey after the explosive assassination of her wealthy father.

The World Is Not Enough – review | cast and crew, movie star rating and  where to watch film on TV and online

It's a theme right out of today's news as President Clinton has just approved a similar pipeline to deliver oil from Azerbaijan and Georgia into Turkey without going through Russia or Iran. The screenwriters could not have landed on a more topical idea, and although content is never the crux of a James Bond movie, it is an added bonus that the countries visited in The World Is Not Enough are currently very active in the news.

World

Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love) returns to nourish the series as Bond's strident boss "M," while Desmond Llewelyn returns for the 19th time as Bond's meticulous gadget guru "Q." Robert Carlyle (TrainspottingThe Full Monty) does a brilliant turn as the ruthless terrorist Renard. He's the nastiest villain to challenge Bond since Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) in A View to a Kill. Renard's character is first introduced in a meeting between Bond and M as a giant three-dimensional translucent head revealing the bullet lodged in his brain that makes it impossible for him to feel pain. It's an ingenious scene, because it makes us question whether or not this man is still alive and what kind of monster could survive such a state of being. Carlyle looks physically wrecked in his scenes while exuding an air of spontaneous combustion beneath his misshapen and sullen eyes.

Worldisnt

The World Is Not Enough keeps the stakes high for the James Bond franchise by paying closer attention to character development and interaction than recent films in the series. M proves herself to not be a perfect judge of character, and the beautiful Princess Elektra has a little "Stockholm Syndrome" stuck in the front of her mind to give the plot some artful double-crossing. Denise Richards may not be the most believable nuclear weapons expert as Dr. Christmas Jones, but she is the most comely.

The-world-is-not-enough

Michael Apted more than hits his directorial marks, and at two hours eight minutes, The World Is Not Enough is, pound for explosion pound, a great return on your entertainment dollar.

The World Is Not Enough (1999) | Motion State Review

Rated PG-13. 128 mins.Four Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

July 25, 2018

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE — FALLOUT

Mission_impossible__falloutMI6 fulfills everything the Mission: Impossible franchise has to offer if not much more. Tom Cruise’s frequent directorial collaborator and “Fallout” co-screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie (“Jack Reacher,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” and “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation”) orchestrates the film’s overblown action with meticulous attention to detail, perhaps a little too much.

The car chase sequences, while impressive, don’t come near the unpredictable nature of the one William Friedkin filmed for “To Live and Die in L.A.” Still, there is plenty of splashy gravity defying spectacle to wash over you as you watch a movie that was clearly made with an IMAX screen in mind. The stunts are gut wrenching, and the helicopter stunts are out of this world.

Tom-cruise-mission-impossible

You need every inch of that 80’ by 100’ IMAX screen to experience what the filmmakers have in mind, which is to blow yours. Another trip through the editing process would have helped tighten the pace but no one is coming out of this film not feeling like they didn’t get their money’s worth.

Fallout

The politics of the MacGuffin-laden plot are sufficiently bland so that no audience member feels left out or put upon regardless of their political leanings. Even anarchists should feel right at home with this film’s cartoonish narrative design since the villain here is a Ted Kaczynski knock off. Bad guy number one has a crew of “Apostles” helping him destroy world order. Don’t worry, there’s only one bloody scene in the whole movie, and the rest of the violence is strictly of the cartoon variety. Our height-challenged action man Ethan Hunt (Cruise) still receives his mission assignments in the same old-school method of a self-destructing reel-to-reel tape.

MI6

Considering the franchise landscape at hand, what surprises most are the casting choices that fail. Alec Baldwin’s IMF character Alan Hunley (Ethan’s boss) seems like he walked onto the wrong set on the day he needed to shoot the handful of scenes he’s in. However, Baldwin does deliver one primo piece of acting while performing one of dramaturgy’s most traditional tropes. No plot spoiler here; you’ll know it when you see it. Angela Bassett also falls flat, regardless of her ageless beauty, as CIA director Erica Sloan. Bassett’s tempo and tone don’t match with the movie as a whole.

Mission-impossible-fallout

What does work in the character department is the reliable chemistry between Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, and Tom Cruise. Here is an onscreen friendship that feels like an old pair of slip-on house shoes. Michelle Monaghan is as perfect as it gets for onscreen romance. No shortage of mask disguises provides a series of nods to the original “Mission: Impossible” television show, while providing the movie with some nifty plot twists that register with an added amount of humor. And yes the super-action men's room fistfight is a hoot.

Fallout

“Mission: Impossible” is the closest thing Hollywood has going next to a James Bond franchise, and going it is. Tom Cruise will soon be too old to play the part of a stunt-happy super spy. Get it while you can on the biggest IMAX screen you can find.  

Fallout

Not rated. 147 mins.

4 Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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